Nikon had a terrible sales quarter and is revising forward estimates.

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I think you are right about printed pictures. In my smallish size town, Sam's Club used to be the best place to print photos. They just shut down their lab down.
My guess is that that's just another example of a brick-and-mortar store losing out to competition from the Internet services more than an example of people making fewer prints these days. People by and large stopped making prints of their family and vacation photos when the digital age took off; whereas in the days of film when prints were the only convenient way to view a photo, prints became a relatively inconvenient method for both storage and display in the digital age.
 
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And your reminder reminds me of a question: There are now three main digital camera manufacturers and people are saying that if the market continues to shrink, the market will be too small for all of them. In that context, how large was the film camera market at its zenith and how many major players did it sustain?
I can think of Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Pentax, Konica, Olympus, Leica, Mamiya, Hasselblad, and a bunch of smaller companies.
 
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Interesting. Recently I had a chat with folks at the Photo Services desk at Costco. They said the photo prints are not a big seller. What keeps them in business are greeting cards, calendars and "gift items" (think coffee mugs, etc).
The Costco nearest me shut down their print facility for lack of business. Fortunately they still produce prints at a nearby store. However, I wonder if future generations will live to regret not having prints made from their most important events. I keep hearing stories from people who lost their pictures when they lost their phones, inadvertently deleted images they wanted to keep, or their computers or hard drives died.
 
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Thom Hogan has an interesting column on this topic today.

The Reason Camera Sales are Stalled

He adds a few reasons not mentioned in this thread.

Terri's comment about not holding people up while fiddling with a real camera resonates with me. I'm beginning to feel like an oddball when I use one of my cameras in public now. Hasn't stopped me from doing it, though, as I like the result. And I'm still not comfortable with taking pictures with a phone. But I'm just an old fogey.
 
Thanks for posting that article, Jim. It makes a lot of sense.

One point that really applies to me: the manufacturers' sales come from effectively responding to customers' pain points. I've had very little pain; using an analogy about the human anatomy, I would call my issues tender spots rather than pains. That explains why I've been quite happy to continue using my D7000 long after it was discontinued. None of the later models in that line of D7xxx offered me anything that compelled me to upgrade. Worse yet, one of the later models doesn't have a vertical grip, which eliminates the solution that, in turn, would allow my real pain to return.
 
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Terri's comment about not holding people up while fiddling with a real camera resonates with me. I'm beginning to feel like an oddball when I use one of my cameras in public now. Hasn't stopped me from doing it, though, as I like the result. And I'm still not comfortable with taking pictures with a phone. But I'm just an old fogey.
I identify with those observations, but I remind folks that where they may take their dog for a walk (both my kids have dogs), or walk for exercise (my wife) I take my camera for a walk, and they better get used to that. I often fall behind, lost on my own world, and I love it--and they do too when I share with them.

My wife and I recently babysat the grandson of a friend who was celebrating her 70th. Her daughter in law had somewhere in the vicinity of 40,000 pictures of the kid on her phone--made it hard to find specific ones. I brought along my Z6, 24-70 f/4, and my SB 800 flash and took about 200 pictures of the wound-up 2 1/2 year old. Everyone was blown away by the quality compared to her high-end smartphone. I'll give 'em both a metal print for Christmas.
 
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I enjoy these articles and discussions.
However, having photo pros trying to understand why sales of cameras are declining is fraught with bias.
A bit of an echo chamber.
I would love to get my hands on results of consumers focus groups or other usage based data analysis (from phones and cameras).
One of the problems camera manufacturers have is they do not have as much access to their customers' data and behaviour as smartphones manufacturers or online sharing platforms.
They have to rely on slower market research analyses, based on much smaller samples, with prohibitively high costs for larger samples.
Data is king, the rest is opinion and they are losing the war as they are unable to understand photo users (not to talk about photographers) dynamically and all the time at anytime.
They can only do snapshot market research.
Apple (and others) updates its flagship smartphone every year based on billions of data points.
That says it all.
 
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One of the problems camera manufacturers have is they do not have as much access to their customers' data and behaviour as smartphones manufacturers or online sharing platforms.
I think you're probably right about that. But all Nikon really needs to do is read Thom Hogan. He's been telling them what to do for years!
 
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Nikon had a terrible sales quarter...
Y'all sound like stockholders, thinkin' of bailing?!
My current gear will last me 10+ yrs and could care
less about their sales. I'll be in my 80's and the effects of
weed, whites, and wine will have clouded any photographic
vision by then. Carry on. ;)
 
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Nikon had a terrible sales quarter...
Y'all sound like stockholders, thinkin' of bailing?!
My current gear will last me 10+ yrs and could care
less about their sales. I'll be in my 80's and the effects of
weed, whites, and wine will have clouded any photographic
vision by then. Carry on. ;)
True but i had to send two bodies in for service so it might not last.
 
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Thom Hogan has an interesting column on this topic today.

The Reason Camera Sales are Stalled

He adds a few reasons not mentioned in this thread.

Terri's comment about not holding people up while fiddling with a real camera resonates with me. I'm beginning to feel like an oddball when I use one of my cameras in public now. Hasn't stopped me from doing it, though, as I like the result. And I'm still not comfortable with taking pictures with a phone. But I'm just an old fogey.
I really like this point that Thom Hogan makes.... "As I've tried to point out for over a decade, the other big pain point is workflow. Yes, that means that some people want to immediately have something shared, without having to pull out another device and doing any work on it. But they also want things backed up automatically (where's the Time Machine equivalent for cameras? iPhones have Apple iCloud Photos, after all. Funny thing is, Nikon has Nikon Image Space and Canon just shut down their cloud approach. The problem isn't the cloud, it's how you use it and don't require the user to do anything).

The list of things that the camera could help with downstream of actually taking the photo is actually pretty extensive, but nothing regarding workflow is being done by camera makers. That's software, after all, and the Japanese camera makers think they only make and sell hardware. No, they sell useful (or non-useful) products, and these days in tech, that means software that makes hardware solve problems, do chores, make decisions."


When we go on our Redfish vacation with the kids each summer, everyone used to like to see my photos on Facebook/Instagram after we got home and I had a chance to post process them. Now the kids all took photos with their phones, shared them with other family members instantly on Facebook/Instagram, and by the time I got home, my photos seemed like ancient history and I didn't even get them all post processed. I can relate to Thom's comment about people wanting to immediately be able to share. That is the way the world works now, like it or not. Why couldn't a camera have the capability of instantly sharing to social media? I think the camera companies have got to look outside the box. Business as usual won't attract many younger users.
 
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I really like this point that Thom Hogan makes.... "As I've tried to point out for over a decade, the other big pain point is workflow. Yes, that means that some people want to immediately have something shared, without having to pull out another device and doing any work on it. But they also want things backed up automatically (where's the Time Machine equivalent for cameras? iPhones have Apple iCloud Photos, after all. Funny thing is, Nikon has Nikon Image Space and Canon just shut down their cloud approach. The problem isn't the cloud, it's how you use it and don't require the user to do anything).

The list of things that the camera could help with downstream of actually taking the photo is actually pretty extensive, but nothing regarding workflow is being done by camera makers. That's software, after all, and the Japanese camera makers think they only make and sell hardware. No, they sell useful (or non-useful) products, and these days in tech, that means software that makes hardware solve problems, do chores, make decisions."


When we go on our Redfish vacation with the kids each summer, everyone used to like to see my photos on Facebook/Instagram after we got home and I had a chance to post process them. Now the kids all took photos with their phones, shared them with other family members instantly on Facebook/Instagram, and by the time I got home, my photos seemed like ancient history and I didn't even get them all post processed. I can relate to Thom's comment about people wanting to immediately be able to share. That is the way the world works now, like it or not. Why couldn't a camera have the capability of instantly sharing to social media? I think the camera companies have got to look outside the box. Business as usual won't attract many younger users.
"Why couldn't a camera have the capability of instantly sharing to social media? (...) Business as usual won't attract many younger users."

Amen.
 
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Now the kids all took photos with their phones, shared them with other family members instantly on Facebook/Instagram
That's exactly why I stopped being a volunteer event photographer for the American Heart Association. Their needs changed to needing images posted to the Internet immediately rather than waiting for better quality photos. I wasn't interested in providing photos that hadn't been culled and post-processed and at the same time they realized they really cared more about the speed of availability rather than the quality of the photos.

Why couldn't a camera have the capability of instantly sharing to social media?
I assumed they have that capability and that, just like making videos, I wasn't interested in learning about it. If the typical DSLR or mirrorless camera being made today doesn't have that capability, the manufacturers are completely missing the boat. A dedicated camera today should be able to do everything a phone camera can do and a lot more sort of like a truck today can do everything a horse and buggy can do and a lot more.
 
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Can't speak for all mirrorless cameras, but the Sony cameras do have some kind of system in which one can immediately send an image file to one's iPad or iPhone, but I've never tried it with either my RX!0 or RX100 so not sure just how that works. It would be fine for one or two images that were already shot in jpg, but not for doing an entire card filled with RAW images, though! And that's not quite as effortless as sending an image directly from the camera to, say, Instagram or to FaceBook.

However, once in the iPhone or iPad that image could be sent to either of those sites, but it would be an extra step. I do love the convenience of shooting something with my iPhone and then immediately being able to air-drop it right into the computer; from there I can post-process it or do whatever I want with it. Although I have both a FB account and an Instagram one, I don't put images on either of them, except in specific situations such as sharing photos from a concert with a FB group I'm on that is focused on a particular artist.

The iPad is also capable of dealing with images imported from a memory card, too and there are various apps for editing if one wanted to do so on that device. Again, that's something I've never tried..... I tend to do things the old-fashioned way!
 
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... I can relate to Thom's comment about people wanting to immediately be able to share. That is the way the world works now, like it or not.
That is the point Thom has been pounding for the past few years and is what I was referring to in post #49. I realize I'm totally out of date, but the idea of having my pictures instantly uploaded to the cloud before I have a chance to edit them just doesn't appeal to me.

A couple of weeks ago we were visiting our son and his family in North Carolina and I was asked to photograph our granddaughter and her friends dressed up for the homecoming dance. I was happy to do it, and I took several dozen shots to be sure I got at least one or two good ones. But a half hour later she was asking when would the pictures be available!
 
Instant gratification......that's what a lot of this boils down to. That and adding fun and spontaneity to something which, while for many of us may be fun when we get out our cameras and lenses and go out shooting, isn't always that spontaneous, for the simple reason that we usually have to plan to have our camera and the right lenses with us.... In contrast, I can be anywhere and see something interesting and not have my camera with me, but -- AH! I do..... I pull the iPhone out of my pocket or purse and boom, take the shot(s). Just as Terri mentions, it's also added a whole new element of fun at many casual occasions when people are running around taking photos of each other, the food, the decorations and everything going on at the event. They instantly can send them to friends or family who aren't there, or can send them to each other....all at the touch of a finger.

The other day a neighbor asked me to take some shots to document something in our neighborhood, so I did so, and she texted me to ask when I'd be sending them to her; I'd barely gotten back in the house. I explained that I needed to post-process them first since they were shot in RAW, and I could almost hear her whining when she asked why I had to process them, why couldn't I just shoot in jpg....?!! She wanted the photos NOW. Well, fortunately they were quick and easy to process, minimal editing needed, just basically resizing and a little sharpening, so I got them done pronto and sent them off to her in email.....
 
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